Anticancer drug delivery by small molecules offers a number of advantages over conventional macromolecular drug delivery systems. We previously developed phenylcyclopropylamine (PCPA)-drug conjugates (PDCs) as small-molecule-based drug delivery vehicles for targeting lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1)-overexpressing cancers. In this study, we applied this PDC strategy to the HDAC-inhibitory anticancer agent vorinostat. Among three synthesized PCPA or arylcyclopropylamine (ACPA)-vorinostat conjugates 1, 9, and 32, conjugate 32 with a 4-oxybenzyl linker showed sufficient stability in buffer solutions, potent LSD1 inhibition, efficient LSD1-dependent vorinostat release, and potent and selective antiproliferative activity toward LSD1-expressing human breast cancer and small-cell lung cancer cell lines. These results indicate that the conjugate selectively releases vorinostat in cancer cells. A similar strategy may be applicable to other anticancer drugs.
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